08:00: My typical day starts with a trip to a local café (flat white with coconut milk is my go-to). I tend to sit in and sip on my coffee whilst browsing my professional social media and work emails to get an idea of what my day will bring.
08:30: I head over to the office, log in and have a chat with my colleagues about today’s matters. I check my diary, open my to-do list and record today’s voicemail message.
09:00: I answer a couple of emails that landed in my mailbox overnight and look for inspiration for a new article for our readers.
10:00: My colleague and I attend a video preliminary hearing to represent our client, the respondent, in an unfair dismissal, race discrimination, political belief discrimination and whistleblowing claim. The hearing lasts 2 hours during which the judge asks the claimant’s solicitor to elaborate on the claimant’s particulars and opens a discussion about the list of issues. I take a full note of the hearing, including all the important case management dates, such as when the particulars of claim, amended grounds of resistance, statement of remedy and list of factual and legal issues are due. This was an eye-opening experience that gave me a flavour of how much fun and excitement I could have if I were to qualify in to employment law.
12:00: Once the preliminary hearing is over, we debrief and discuss the outcomes with one of the Partners in our Employment team. I appreciate the fact that senior colleagues at my firm take the time to teach junior members like myself and recognise the importance of letting us sit in on these discussions. I then proofread my note, save it to the file and record my time.
13:00: Today’s lunch is a little more special than usual. Today we have the first of our Jubilee Afternoon Teas across our three offices. I head over to our largest meeting room where my amazing colleagues have decorated the room with bunting and balloons. I start with the three mini sandwiches and homemade sausage roll and finish with a scone (with many other very calorific goodies in-between). I spend my lunch hour enjoying the festivities with a cup of tea and catching up with my colleagues from other departments. These events are so important both in terms of having a nice time and building my internal network.
14:00: My colleague in our London office phones me to ask if I can draft a COT3 agreement for her. COT3 is a form of settlement agreement that records the terms of a settlement of an employment tribunal claim. I take a couple of moments to review the file and begin drafting. It takes me about an hour, and I send the draft to my colleague for her to check it over. So pleased to get great feedback and some helpful and constructive comments too.
15:00: My Head of Department invites me to join a call with a client to discuss a grievance brought by one of its employees. During the call, the client provides us with some background information and explains the events leading up to the grievance. We also discuss options available to the client. After the call, I am tasked with preparing a draft email to the employee outlining the company’s grievance process and inviting the employee to an informal meeting to discuss their concerns. It’s such a great experience to see him in action, such a fantastic way to hone and develop my skills.
16:30: To my pleasant surprise, the Employment Tribunal emails its case management orders to us following this morning’s Preliminary Hearing. Many fellow legal professionals will appreciate that COVID-19 caused long disruptions to the tribunal service, so we were not expecting to receive the case management orders for a couple of weeks. Now that it’s here, I read the document and cross-check it against my attendance note to ensure all the case management dates match and my note is accurate. I then diarise a reminder for all important dates in my and my colleague’s diaries. It felt good to have progressed this effectively for our client.
17:30: I wrap everything up and before I head home, I join a small group of colleagues for a social catch-up at a local café. This is something we try to do regularly, usually on the first Thursday of every month.
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